Global Campus offers students opportunities to travel, study

Liz Kohman

Alison Kobernat spent her junior year living in Montpellier, France, just 20 minutes from the Mediterranean. Kathryn Jensen
didn’t speak Italian until she studied for two months in Perugia, Italy.

Both of these students were able to graduate from the University in four years and both said that studying abroad, with the support of Global Campus, enhanced their education.

The Global Campus is the University’s office of international study abroad programs. It offers more than 200 programs in 80 countries.

The Global Campus helps students every step of the way – from choosing a study abroad program to hosting a study abroad alumni group, where students can discuss their experiences after returning from their trips.

“Study abroad is vital to a college experience,” said Sarah Graveley, a Spanish major who studied in Salamanca, Spain and now works at the Global Campus. “You can’t know the world without leaving your country.”

The Global Campus advising office, located in 230 Heller Hall on the West Bank, is filled with brochures of programs and pictures and maps from around the world.

There are walls of bookcases holding binders filled with information on study abroad programs – including student evaluations. A cluster of tables provides a place for students to review programs and meet with advisors to discuss any concerns, like transferring credits or receiving financial aid abroad.

Advisers are also available to help students find and register for courses abroad which will count toward their studies here.

There are 1,800 courses abroad that have been approved to meet liberal education requirements for the University. All of the three-week, three-credit May intersession courses fit liberal education requirements and are led by University faculty members.

“(Intersession courses) provide a lot of structure and support,” said Lynn Anderson Scott, advising director at Global Campus. She added these courses might be a good option for freshmen who would like to study abroad during their first year.

In addition to intersession
courses, there is a wide range of programs varying in length and cost. There are also programs available for students in every major, Scott said.

Students interested in studying abroad should begin planning approximately six months to one year before they plan to leave, Scott said. They should meet with their college advisors before and after their study abroad experience to ensure credits will transfer and course work will count, she added.

Studying abroad is an experience that calls the best from you in terms of academics, communication skills and maturity, Scott said.

While study abroad can be beneficial in terms of academic growth, participants say it also fosters personal growth.

“You’re challenged,” said Jay Pludeman, a pre-med and Spanish graduate who studied in Madrid, Spain, for a semester. “You learn things from the smallest experiences. Even ordering a Coke at McDonald’s is fun.”

Liz Kohman welcomes comments at [email protected]